Little Rock Technology Park moves forward

    8:00 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Technology parks are popping up in cities all over the country, and Little Rock is no exception. Innovation and technology are key components to any modern city.

    For months, The Little Rock Technology Park Authority has been researching sites, and Thursday Economic development officials and community leaders toured four sites that could be home to research and technology companies.

    Jay Chesshir, President of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce said the park is desperately needed to help businesses grow and keep jobs here in Arkansas.

    "There is a significant amount of research that's ongoing in the state of Arkansas...If we don't provide an opportunity that comes out of these research institutes and have an opportunity to commercialize and create those jobs in Arkansas, then they'll go somewhere else," Chesshir explained.

    The money to build The Little Rock Technology Park is coming partly from a sales tax increase that voters approved last year.

    "Wonderful investment because of the types of jobs that are created number one," said Chesshir. "Number two, if we don't do our best to keep the best and brightest that we have here and their ideas that they are generating here, so that they can be commercialized here."

    One of the final proposed locations is on Collins Street in Downtown Little Rock near Heifer International and the Clinton Presidential Center.

    The other three sites being considered include a 12 story building on River Front Plaza, which is currently part of the Verizon Complex; the shopping center at the southeast corner of Asher and University; and vacant land off John Barrow.

    Chesshir said not building this park will hurt Little Rock's future.

    "Then other states will take advantage of that and will reap the benefits of those jobs going to their state," he concluded.

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